Region 2 Update: Upcoming Changes Within NAHJ

The theme for the 2011 NAHJ national convention is “Un Nuevo Amanecer: A New Day for Our Story.” These words have become more fitting than we initially envisioned.

As you may have heard, NAHJ executive director Iván Román submitted his resignation to the board of directors at our meeting in New York City over the weekend. Iván will stay on through the 2011 convention in Orlando and is committed to working with the board during this transition. As a board, we recognize and appreciate Iván for all he has done for our organization.

I first met Iván when I was a member of the NAHJ student campus, an experience that would go on to shape not just my role within this organization, but ultimately my career and my life. In many ways, Iván has been the face of this organization. He helmed NAHJ through one of the most trying times in our industry’s history, and his commitment to the Latino community, journalism and NAHJ is unquestioned. For those of you that have had the pleasure, he is also quite a salsa partner.

Now, it is up to NAHJ to move forward. I am incredibly confident and optimistic about our ability to do so. While board members may have differences of both opinion and personality, we are all committed to this organization and share similar visions for NAHJ.

NAHJ has struggled to rebound from the economic challenges of the last few years, and getting us on firm financial footing is a top priority for the board. We approved a budget that projects surplus revenue of roughly $171,000, based not on optimistic projections, but on realistic information and achievable goals. My appreciation goes out to financial officer Russell Contreras for all of his efforts on this front.

This also means we will be making cuts at the national office, a decision we as a board did not take lightly. However, our commitment as board members is to act in the best interest of you, our members. And I truly believe that grounding our organization financially — so that we are not making year-end pleas to attempt to close a six-figure deficit — is the best way to do so. A financially healthy NAHJ will allow us to best serve our members.

More changes will be coming. I will do my best to keep you informed of them, and as always, feel free to contact me for any questions.

It has been a rough few years for NAHJ, but I truly believe that this board has laid the groundwork and enacted the necessary changes to emerge from this time stronger. The core of this organization is our membership, and I have been incredibly fortunate as Region 2 director to get to meet many of you and see firsthand the commitment, talent, resilience and spirit of the incredible individuals that comprise our organization.

We all know that journalism has entered a new era, and NAHJ is adapting and evolving to meet these changing times. For NAHJ, it is “Un Nuevo Amanecer: A New Day for Our Story.” And in the next chapter of that story, I have no doubt we will emerge a stronger, more unified organization.

Maria Burns Ortiz
Region 2 Director and Sports Task Force Chair
National Association of Hispanic Journalists


NAHJ New York City launch update

Just wanted to give everyone an update from the NAHJ New York City launch meeting.

It was great meeting those of you who were at the meeting. For those who couldn’t make it, we hope to see you at something in the future – and we’re working to plan/organize a number of things to choose from.

The turnout was great. We had 25 people able to make it out. And I know a number of you also e-mailed me about want to make it, but couldn’t.

We identified a few different things to work on in the beginning.

– Social media strategy. I’d like to figure out a way to keep everyone up-to-date that doesn’t rely on just one person sending e-mails, posting to Facebook, etc. We all know that interactivity is what makes social media so successful, so let’s put it to work for us. I have a tapped a few people from the meeting who said that was their interest. Any feedback on the best way to reach you with information using social media would be helpful. If you’d like to be involved in this social media strategizing, let me know.

– Fundraising. This is something we need to do at a national and chapter level. I don’t want to just sit and ask you all to open up your wallets and give NAHJ money (although, you’re more than welcome to do so), but given NAHJ’s financial situation, there needs to be some kind of effort to bring in money.We discussed a silent auction that we’re looking to do in November/December. If you’re interested in fundraising and/or assisting on this, please let me know.

– Skill exchange. We’re going to try to set up some kind of database (even just as simple as a Google doc, where we can set up a skill exchange – i.e. you help me for two hours learning how to use Final Cut Pro, then I’ll help you for two hours trying to set up your blog). I’m looking to get this set up in the next month.

– Spanish-language. We had a number of people express interest in doing some events/training geared specifically toward Spanish-language media. I have talked to a few of those people already and will be reaching out to more this week about working on this front.

– Collaboration. I’m going to be speaking with someone from AMSE this week about some kind of panel or training even we can do together. I’ve also had some interest from NYWICI (NY Women in Communication) and ONA (Online News Association) on doing mixer-type events.

– Future meetings.

Location: I have been told NBC might have space to host us for a future meeting, but we’re always looking for meeting space. The way it’s worked with NAHJ New England is we get a host who gives us conference room space for the meeting (usually they spring for like pizza or some food, but that’s not at all a requirement) and we generally invite someone to talk about the company’s diversity efforts, how NAHJ can help, etc. if they like. It’s basically as hands off or involved as the company letting us use their space likes.

Time: Also, I am trying to figure out the best meeting times. I know that journalism is not a 9-to-5 industry. I’m not sure if the best approach is to have two regular, but different meeting times, maybe alternating every month (i.e. one month, a weeknight evening; the next month, a weekend late morning). Once we get underway with mixers and training events, etc., we’ll probably end up with events at a variety of times. But obviously the meeting time worked for everyone who was at the meeting, but without getting too specific for those of you that wanted to come but couldn’t, what would work?

There were also some great ideas and suggestions raised at the meeting – some advocacy suggestions, things we can do to help bring the issue of Latinos and media to the forefront following the census data release, etc.

But let me know what you’d like to see, ideas for what we can do, things you’d like to be involved in, etc. The more people we get involved, the more successful this chapter can be.

Feel free to reach out to me on anything. I’ll keep you all posted.

Maria Burns Ortiz

Region 2 Director
National Association of Hispanic Journalists

Region 2 Update – Post-convention edition: NYC Chapter, Denver Challenge-Fundraising, Sports Task Force and More

Hi Region 2 members,

Hope all is going well – and that everyone is weathering the lovely heat wave. (I’m trying to remind myself that this is what I dream of in January.)

To those of you that were in Denver, it was great to see/meet you all. It was a smaller convention, but I’m hopeful we’re going to do big things with the momentum that we are taking from it. To those of you that couldn’t make it, you were missed, but we will still have events to offer you the second half of this year.  We’re working to shift the idea that if you can’t make it to the convention, then you’re missing out on the bulk of what NAHJ has to offer.

Here’s what going on around Region 2 and NAHJ.

NY Chapter

NAHJ’s NY chapter formation is in the works. Jose Bayona has done a great job in taking a lead on this endeavor as have the many members who were at the Region 2 caucus in Denver and who have come back energized and are working to get this chapter off the ground (Yvonne Latty, Kirk Gimenez, Jorge Arangure, the list goes on). Thank you all so much!

We’re looking to get the first meeting nailed down in the next few weeks, and some events are already in the planning stages. I think the key to this success is delegating – and some wonderful members have already stepped up on that front. If you’re interested in leading something up on that front, please let me know. Otherwise, if you just want to come, mix and meet fellow members, that’s great too – and I’ll have information for you on that soon.

Check us out on Facebook:

Sports Task Force

We officially re-launched the NAHJ Sports Task Force in Denver with a great panel and the World Cup Lounge. We are going to be working to bump these efforts up substantially in the next year.

Thank you so much to this year’s speakers – all of whom have Region 2 ties: moderator Jorge Arangure (ESPN the Magazine) and panelists Mario Fraticelli (, Eric Ortiz (New England Sports Network/NESN), Angie Clemmons (Denver Post, but former Region 2 director) and Paul Gutierrez (Sacramento Bee, but formerly at Sports Illustrated in NYC).

We have already been told that we will have more sports programming next year in Orlando, so that’s in the works.

We’re also going to launch a mentoring program – so if you’re looking for a mentor (student, early career, etc.) or you’d like to be a mentor, let me know.

Check us out on Facebook:!/group.php?gid=133690243328026

Job Board

I’m going to create a job page with all the job openings I get as well as links to job sites for media companies within Region 2. I will be putting this up on the blog (and linking to the Facebook page), but please send me any open jobs that you know of  – now or in the future. They don’t have to be in Region 2.

Also, if you’re job searching, don’t forget to visit NAHJ’s career center:

Denver Challenge/Fundraising

Thanks to the generous support of the Ford Foundation, McCormick Foundation and Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, NAHJ has been selected to participate in the Challenge Fund for Journalism. We will be awarded $25,000 if we can raise that same amount from individuals.

As those of you who were in Denver know, NAHJ is still struggling to regain its financial footing. The budget was cut and the projections were redone after our shortfall last year, but NAHJ still needs to do some substantial fundraising this year.

We will be holding some events in Region 2 between now and the end of this year that will benefit both our members and help raise money for the national organization. I will get that information out as we get details.

However, you can also help by donating – either a one-time donation or monthly giving.

For more information:

NAHJ New England

Thanks to everyone that came out to the World Cup event. We’re trying to set the location of our next meeting, and I will get that out as soon as we have it. If you’re in New England and not a member of the chapter, please come check it out.  Also, congratulations to NAHJ New Englanders Russell Contreras and Erin Ailworth on being elected to the NAHJ Board of Directors. Erin is NAHJ’s new secretary and Russell is NAHJ’s new financial officer.

Keep Up-to-Date

As always, if you have any information you think would be of interest to other members (upcoming events, job openings, internships, stories, blog links, resources, etc.), please send it my way. I update the Facebook page as I get stuff and I try to post that to the Region 2 blog and @nahjregion2 Twitter account as well.

If you have any questions, concerns, suggestions, anything, please feel free to contact me.

Thanks so much!

Maria Burns Ortiz

Region 2 Director
National Association of Hispanic Journalists

Page 2 Contributor/Soccer Writer
Freelance Journalist


Check out the Region 2 blog:

Become a fan of NAHJ Region 2 on Facebook:

NAHJ Region 2 is on Twitter:

amNewYork seeks full-time rewrite person

From Ernie Sotomayor…

FT Rewrite Person, amNewYork, New York City

The candidate must have at least three years of reporting experience at a daily newspaper or wire service. This person must be skilled at writing multiple stories each day, drawing on a range of sources as well as contributing original reporting. The candidate will be asked to write breaking news on topics ranging from: NYC news (politics, crimes…), to celebrity coverage, to national, world and sports events. This person must have the ability to write tightly and brightly, with a real sense of voice, and produce balanced, accurate and compelling pieces under tight deadlines. Flexibility, a good disposition, sense of humor and collegiality are a must.

Position Requirements/Qualifications:

* 3-4 years experience working at a daily newspaper or wire service
* Excellent writing, reporting and communication skills.
* Familiarity with New York City.
* Ability to use and understand a broad base of information systems, including news wires, data banks of governmental agencies and private organizations, and various other research materials.
* Education: A bachelor’s degree in journalism or related field.

To apply, send resume and cover letter to managing editor Rolando Pujol at No phone calls please. No relocation. seeks interns

Passed along by Parity Project director Kevin Olivas: is looking for a highly motivated, well-rounded person. MUST be interested in the local Latin scene (music, film, art, etc.) We’re looking for interns to help out at our Williamsburg office with database maintenance, event listings, blog writing, and general tasks. We need someone extremely self motivated who can work in a hectic environment. Important: must have understanding of SEO and CMS. Interns will be uploading content to Web site.

For more information or to apply, submit resume and clips to

Assistant editor opening at the Nieman Journalism Lab

Former NAHJ president Cecila Alvear passed this opportunity along

The Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard has an opening for an assistant editor.

For a full description, visit:

Note: The posting asks for applications by June 15 (Tuesday).

Region 2 Update – Convention, Chapters, Job Opportunities and More

Hi Region 2 members,

Here’s the latest around Region 2.


The annual convention in Denver is less than a month away – June 23-26. It’s not too late to register. Don’t miss out. Come for great hands-on training, insightful panels and networking – and it’s fun. Although the hotel deadline for discounted rooms has technically passed – the Hyatt is still offering rooms at the discounted $187 a night rate to NAHJ members.

Check out all the programming NAHJ in Denver and register online:

New York Chapter

Jose Bayona will be taking the lead in starting up a NYC area chapter. We have tons of members in the area, and this could easily become the largest and most active NAHJ chapter in the nation. I encourage you to contact him ( or me for more information. I know there is a demand for an NYC chapter, so please take advantage if this opportunity. Jose is looking for anyone that wants to be involved in events, receive e-mails, etc. as well as any member who are willing to help organize the chapter.

North Jersey Chapter

Also, Gloria Montealegre ( has volunteered to revive the Northern New Jersey chapter, so please reach out to her if you are interested in that chapter.

Other Region 2 Chapters

Professional: NAHJ New England

Student: Brooklyn College, Columbia University, Lehman College, Stony Brook University and Syracuse University.

If you fall under any of those chapters, please reach out to me or Paulo Luizaga (

Membership Update

We have added almost a 100 new members in Region 2 in the last month, which is great! Please encourage anyone you know who might be interested to consider becoming a part of NAHJ. Our goal is to reach 2,010 members in 2010. To become a member/renew your membership, go to:

NAHJ Elections

Nine positions (including student representative are up for grabs) with the election opening June 11. New board members will be announced at NAHJ in Denver. I’ll be posting information from candidates on the Region 2 blog, Facebook and Twitter pages and will be sending out some information from them in the next two weeks.

Job Openings

NAHJ Career Center Featured Job: Bilingual (English/Spanish) Interactive Producer position available in New York at News 12: Senior Editor for Page 2:

Global Editor – The Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, NY:

Also, visit NAHJ’s career center:

The Career Center lists hundreds of jobs, and dozens in Region 2, including: 20 job openings in Massachusetts, 19 openings in New York, 12 in New Jersey, two in Rhode Island, one in Connecticut, one in Maine and one in New Hampshire.

Keep Up-to-Date

As always, if you have any information you think would be of interest to other members (upcoming events, job openings, internships, stories, blog links, resources, etc.), please send it my way. I update the blog as I get stuff and I try to post that to the Facebook Region 2 fan page and @nahjregion2 Twitter account as well.

If you have any questions, concerns, suggestions, anything, please feel free to contact me.

Thanks so much!

Maria Burns Ortiz

Region 2 Director
National Association of Hispanic Journalists


Check out the Region 2 blog:

Become a fan of NAHJ Region 2 on Facebook:

NAHJ Region 2 is on Twitter: